Devon R. Minnick, Richard H. Hughes, IV, and Ada L. Peters, attorneys in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, co-authored an article in Health Affairs, titled “Will Religious Freedom Claims Trump Public Health? Braidwood and HIV Prevention.”

Following is an excerpt:

Braidwood Management v. Becerra, scheduled for oral argument in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today, March 4, has the potential to undermine decades of bipartisanship and groundbreaking innovation aimed at ending the transmission of the HIV virus that causes AIDS. This would have long-lasting consequences for preventive health care and society in general. Even more broadly, the case has received significant attention for its potential to essentially decimate the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) guarantee of coverage without cost sharing for hundreds of categories of free preventive health care.

One of these categories is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Since its introduction in 2012, PrEP has been applauded by Republicans and Democrats alike as a highly effective public health tool to prevent HIV’s transmission, reducing the risk of acquiring HIV through sexual transmission by approximately 99 percent. In 2019, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a “Grade A” recommendation for PrEP, in turn triggering the requirement to cover it without cost-sharing for those with commercial health insurance under Section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act (Section 2713), the ACA’s preventive services coverage mandate.

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